The Sustainable Development Goals ('SDGs') are a collection of 17 global goals, that all 193 UN member states have agreed to commit to.
The goals aim to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change.
The development of the SDGs resulted in the biggest consultation in UN history --- a process spanning a 3 year period, and involving more than 7 million individuals through 83 national surveys.
The SDGs are expected to be delivered by 2030 and build on the achievements of the 8 Millennium Development Goals (‘MDGs’).
The MDGs were set in 2000 and ended in 2015 — also in a bid to reduce poverty levels and fight inequality issues.
The MDGs were largely successful and amongst other things, resulted in a 50% reduction in worldwide poverty.
However, the MDGs had their limitations, and the SDGs were set with these limitations in mind --- in the hope that this time no marginalised groups would be left behind.
The goals require a collective effort and can only be achieved if individuals, civil society, the private sector and the government make an effort to engage with them.
The SDGs are universally applicable. This means that they apply equally to both developed and developing countries; although, the significance of individual goals will vary from one country to the next
If successful, these goals could completely transform the landscape of the world that we live in.